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Friday-Foodie

Friday Foodie: Quinoa Salad with Apples, Walnuts and Mint

Friday Foodie Quinoa Salad with Apples, Walnuts and Mint is a great mix of crispiness  and popping flavors. The above picture shows the layers of color before tossing. I seem to have failed to take a final picture, but this gives you the essence of this light, tasty, easy to prepare salad.

Start with 1 1/2 cups quinoa, prepared according to package instructions. I made mine in the rice cooker on the white rice setting. I made it a day ahead so it would already be cooled.

I used already sliced apples and then simply chopped them up into small, bite size pieces.

The walnuts did not need further chopping.

I like this frozen roasted corn, as it is easy to throw into any dish. No need to defrost. By the time the salad is ready to be tossed, the corn will be defrosted. If frozen roasted is unavailable, either roast a cob and remove or use any frozen corn. It does not have to be roasted. Do not use canned.

This celery was in the bottom of the drawer on its last leg, but still crunchy and this salad was a good way to use it up. I cut into long strips, as above, then chop.

This kale is quite young and tender. Avoid the big heavy leaves as they will not be as tender. If that is all that is available, cut the amount to 1/4 cup instead of 1/2 and chop into small pieces.

Aren’t red peppers just beautiful! I love the color and they always seem so juicy.

This is just a few sprigs of the mint leaves I had. Sadly, kind of blurry. The mint adds the refreshing pop that makes this salad so delicious.

This salad was inspired by a salad I ate at the Flying Star a few weeks ago. I almost didn’t order it, as it sounded like such an odd combination, but it truly is delicious. I dressed the salad with pomegranate balsamic, but I have included a recipe for a pomegranate vinaigrette that could be used. I hope you will give this a try. This salad kept nicely for 4-5 days, so it is a great choice to fix ahead and have ready for a sack lunch. Quinoa provides a protein punch that satiates and keeps you feeling full. This could also be served on a bed of mixed greens. Give it a try and enjoy!

Friday Foodie: Quinoa Apple Walnut Salad with Mint
Author: 
Recipe type: Salad
Cuisine: Vegan
Prep time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4
 
A delicious salad light and crispy salad dressed with Pomegranate Balsamic or an alternative Pomegranate Vinaigrette, recipe following.
Ingredients
  • 1 ½ cups quinoa prepared following package instructions
  • ¾ cup chopped apples (use a tart apple, no need to peel)
  • ½ cup chopped walnuts
  • ½ cup roasted corn kernels (frozen is fine)
  • ½ cup chopped celery
  • ½ - 1 cup chopped baby kale leaves
  • ½ cup chopped red pepper
  • ½ cup chopped mint leaves (or less if preferred)
  • ¼ cup Pomegranate Balsamic
Instructions
  1. Place all ingredients, except balsamic, in a large salad bowl.
  2. Toss until well combined.
  3. Pour balsamic across salad and toss until ingredients are moistened.
  4. May be served on a bed of lettuce greens.
  5. Alternative Pomegranate Vinaigrette
  6. I cup of POM or other 100% pomegranate juice (read the label)
  7. ½ tsp of sugar
  8. ½ tsp of salt
  9. tsps high quality balsamic
  10. tsp high quality olive oil (optional)
  11. Bring the juice to a boil.
  12. Turn down heat and reduce the liquid to about ⅓ – ½ cup.
  13. Remove from heat.
  14. Stir in remaining ingredients until sugar and salt are dissolved.
  15. Allow to cool.
  16. Dress salad with desired amount.

 

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Friday-Foodie

FAST Friday Foodie: Skillet Granola

I love granola, but store bought varieties are full of fat and sugar. Recently, I had a real crave though, and decided to give a go at making my own. I decided to try  just a small batch and the skillet seemed like the easiest way to throw this together. I pulled a few nuts and sunflower seeds from my freezer, added some oats, spices, coconut oil and honey and made a delicious toasty granola. If you want to make this in larger quantities, you might want to throw it on a cookie sheet instead and toast in the oven at 350 degrees for maybe ten to fifteen minutes, stirring at least once and checking to be sure it doesn’t get too brown. Once finished and cool, add 2 Tbs of unsweetened coconut flakes. Serve 2 Tbs on a bowl of fresh fruit or oatmeal.

Also great as a small snack. So here’s the recipe:

FAST Friday Foodie: Skillet Granola
Author: 
Recipe type: Breakfast or Snack
Cuisine: American
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 6
 
This granola is made with coconut oil, a healthy fat, and has minimal sugar coming from raw honey.
Ingredients
  • 1 tsp coconut oil
  • ¼ cup old fashioned oats
  • 2 Tbs raw sunflower seeds
  • 2 Tbs raw walnut pieces
  • 2 Tbs raw pecan pieces
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp nutmeg
  • 1 tsp raw honey
  • 2 Tbs unsweetened coconut flakes
Instructions
  1. Heat skillet on medium-high heat
  2. Add coconut oil
  3. When melted, add seeds and nuts
  4. Stir until all are coated with oil
  5. Add spices and continue stirring or shake pan
  6. Continue for 3 to 5 minutes, until nuts smell fragrant and look toasted
  7. Stir in honey until all nuts are coated
  8. Stir for one more minute to allow honey to crystalize to nuts
  9. Pour onto a flat surface and allow to cool
  10. Once cool, stir in 2 Tbs unsweetened coconut flakes
  11. Store in covered container
  12. Serve 2 Tbs on a bowl of fruit or oatmeal
  13. OR eat 2 Tbs as a snack

 

Haricots Verts, bagged

Friday Foodie: Haricots Vert Salad with chèvre and walnuts (vegan version included)

I recently returned from France where I had lots of great food. One of my favorite salads in France is Salade au Chèvre Chaud. This is a salad with goat cheese either wrapped in phyllo and baked, breaded and baked, or toast points with goat cheese broiled. The last one I had was in a bistro on a Sunday afternoon in Paris. And it was over the top with smoked duck, lots of toasty goat cheese and a salad that included haricots verts. This is what it looked like.

Salade au Chèvre Chaud

You can just make out the haricots verts there at the bottom. If you can’t tell yet, they are a French green bean and I have always loved them, but had never had them in a salad. They were a delicious addition. After all the rich food in France and then coming home to Thanksgiving, I have been craving vegetable rich dishes so came up with my own version of a salad that incorporates Haricots Verts. I have had this numerous times this week already. I hope you enjoy as much as I do!

Haricots Verts, bagged

Bring a pot of water to a boil. Add a bag of these bad boys and 1/2 tsp of salt. Boil about four minutes or until bright green. Don’t over cook them. Remove to a ice water bath or run continuous cold water over them to cool. Then place in refrigerator until completely chilled. I did mine first thing in the morning and then left in the refrigerator till I made my salad that evening.

Mixed baby salad greens

Pile some mixed baby salad greens in a bowl.

Organic Pea Shoots

Throw on a pile of organic pea shoots. Sprouts of any kind would also work.

Haricots Verts on bed of mixed baby salad greens

Top with a large handful of Haricots Verts.

Wintered cherry tomato plant

Pick some tomatoes off your wintered cherry tomato plant and slice in half. (What? You don’t winter your tomato plants? I learned about this last year and have done it successfully two years in a row now. Just uproot your cherry tomato plant [you can do this with others if you have the room] and put the root ball in a plastic bag. Allow plant to hang down and pick as they ripen. I have had mine inside since third week in October before the first freeze and I’m still picking.)

Lemon Balsamic dressing on salad

This is what mine looked like with the tomatoes and my homemade salad dressing. If you are vegan, add some walnuts and dressing and your ready to go. If not…

Haricots Verts salad with feta and walnuts

add a little crumbled chèvre (or feta) as well. I think this would also be good with shredded carrots, which I think I will try today. Use your favorite dressing or try this one I came up with for my salad.

Enjoy!

Friday Foodie: Haricots Vert Salad with Lemon Balsamic Dressing
Author: 
Recipe type: Salad
Cuisine: Semi-French
Prep time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4-6
 
This dressing would be delicious on any salad, but is especially good with Haricots Verts.
Ingredients
  • 1 Tbs minced shallots
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 2 Tbs cider vinegar
  • 2 Tbs fresh lemon juice (juice of one lemon generally)
  • ¼ c high quality balsamic
  • ¼ c sunflower oil
  • 1½ tsp thyme leaves, chopped
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. Combine first six ingredients in blender or mini food processor.
  2. With blender or processor running, add oil in a steady stream.
  3. Add thyme, salt and pepper and blend.
  4. Serve.
  5. Can be stored in jar in refrigerator for a week.
  6. Shake before using.

 

Layers of veggies

Friday Foodie: Quinoa Apple Walnut Salad with Mint

Layers of color before tossing. I seem to have failed to take a final picture, but this gives you the essence of this light, tasty, easy to prepare salad.

Layers of veggies

Start with 1 1/2 cups quinoa, prepared according to package instructions. I made mine in the rice cooker on the white rice setting. I made it a day ahead so it would already be cooled.

Sliced Apples

I used already sliced apples and then simply chopped them up into small, bite size pieces.

Walnuts

The walnuts did not need further chopping.

Frozen Corn

I like this frozen roasted corn, as it is easy to throw into any dish. No need to defrost. By the time the salad is ready to be tossed, the corn will be defrosted. If frozen roasted is unavailable, either roast a cob and remove or use any frozen corn. It does not have to be roasted. Do not use canned.

Celery

This celery was in the bottom of the drawer on its last leg, but still crunchy and this salad was a good way to use it up. I cut into long strips, as above, then chop.

Tender Young Kale

This kale is quite young and tender. Avoid the big heavy leaves as they will not be as tender. If that is all that is available, cut the amount to 1/4 cup instead of 1/2 and chop into small pieces.

Red Peppers

Aren’t red peppers just beautiful! I love the color and they always seem so juicy.

Mint

This is just a few sprigs of the mint leaves I had. Sadly, kind of blurry. The mint adds the refreshing pop that makes this salad so delicious.

This salad was inspired by a salad I ate at the Flying Star a few weeks ago. I almost didn’t order it, as it sounded like such an odd combination, but it truly is delicious. I dressed the salad with pomegranate balsamic, but I have included a recipe for a pomegranate vinaigrette that could be used. I hope you will give this a try. This salad kept nicely for 4-5 days, so it is a great choice to fix ahead and have ready for a sack lunch. Quinoa provides a protein punch that satiates and keeps you feeling full. This could also be served on a bed of mixed greens. Give it a try and enjoy!

Quinoa Apple Walnut Salad in a Pomegranate Balsamic

1 ½ cups quinoa prepared following package instructions
¾ cup chopped apples (use a tart apple, no need to peel)
½ cup chopped walnuts
½ cup roasted corn kernels (frozen is fine)
½ cup chopped celery
½ – 1 cup chopped baby kale leaves
½ cup chopped red pepper
½ cup chopped mint leaves (or less if preferred)
¼ cup Pomegranate Balsamic

Place all ingredients, except balsamic, in a large salad bowl. Toss until well combined. Pour balsamic across salad and toss until ingredients are moistened.

The mint and apples make this a refreshing salad. This salad could also be dressed with a:

Pomegranate Vinaigrette

1 cup of POM or other 100% pomegranate juice (read the label)
½  tsp of sugar
½ tsp of salt
2 tsps high quality balsamic
1 tsp high quality olive oil (optional)

Bring the juice to a boil. Turn down heat and reduce the liquid to about 1/3 – ½ cup. Remove from heat. Stir in remaining ingredients until sugar and salt are dissolved. Allow to cool. Dress salad with desired amount.

Recipe by Jane Thompson
www.janeannthompson.com